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NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf's efforts to fill two vacancies on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court collapsed Monday after one nominee withdrew his name from consideration following a controversy over an e-mail he sent and the other was left in political limbo. Centre County Court Judge Thomas K. Kistler said he was removing his name from consideration after coming under fire last week for an e-mail that some viewed as racially insensitive. With Kistler's withdrawal, Senate Republicans moved swiftly to cancel the confirmation hearing for Wolf's second nominee, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
February 24, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
One by one, lawyers stepped onto the stage in a West Philadelphia community center and gave 30-second pitches on why they should be elected judge. Attendees of the 46th Ward meeting in the Enterprise Center last week enjoyed a buffet and listened to at least a dozen speeches, most fitting the same pattern: Name, brief mention of experience, pledge to improve the criminal justice system, name again. There are a lot of names to remember. Nearly 50 lawyers and six sitting judges have said they are running for Common Pleas and Municipal Court judgeships this year.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Angela Couloumbis, Craig R. McCoy, and Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writers
The fate of a Centre County Court judge whom Gov. Wolf nominated for Pennsylvania's highest court was unsettled Friday as legislators and others questioned whether an e-mail he sent was racially insensitive. Wolf told The Inquirer that he had not seen the e-mail forwarded by Judge Thomas K. Kistler. "We're looking into it, and I'll be making a decision once I'm confident that I know all the facts," Wolf said in Washington, where he was attending a governors' conference. At the same time, questions also emerged about a harassment complaint once filed against Wolf's other nominee for the high court, Ken Gormley, a dean at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.
NEWS
February 11, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey on Monday slammed the judicial-evaluation process of the Pennsylvania Bar Association as "unethical, unprofessional, and less than forthright," contending that she was being pressured to drop her run for the state Supreme Court. Covey, of New Hope, said in a letter to association president Francis X. O'Connor that as a consequence of her treatment, Robert Morris, chairman of the Judicial Evaluation Commission, should resign. "I will not be a victim and I will not remain silent regarding the unethical and unprofessional activities I experienced with the . . . JEC," Covey wrote.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Crowded with Washington-bound commuters, the Track 5 platform beneath 30th Street Station was swept by a cold wind as Ron Levine stamped his feet and blew into his hands to stay warm. On this unusually icy November day last year, Levine, a prominent white-collar defense lawyer and a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, and his colleague, Abe Rein, were on their way to the nation's capital. There, they would meet with other lawyers to fine-tune arguments in a Supreme Court case.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Wednesday tapped a bipartisan duo - a law school dean and a central Pennsylvania county judge - to fill vacancies on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Wolf said he would nominate Ken Gormley, dean and professor at the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, and Thomas Kistler, president judge of Centre County Court, to the bench. "I am pleased today to announce two extremely qualified and distinguished individuals as my nominees to serve on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the highest court in the commonwealth," Wolf said.
NEWS
February 2, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A once-prominent Philadelphia African American lawyer has been disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after failing to respond to professional and ethical complaints. The action, which takes effect Feb. 28 and strips Willie Lee Nattiel Jr. of his law license, was published Thursday by the court. The 23-page opinion lists 10 charges against Nattiel, most involving mishandling client funds and failures to appear for meetings and court hearings of people he had agreed to represent.
NEWS
February 1, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A once-prominent Philadelphia lawyer has been disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after failing to respond to professional and ethical complaints. The action, which takes effect Feb. 28 and strips Willie Lee Nattiel Jr. of his law license, was published Thursday by the Supreme Court. The 23-page opinion lists 10 charges against Nattiel, most involving mishandling client funds and failures to appear for meetings and court hearings of people he had agreed to represent. Nattiel, 55, could not be reached for comment Friday.
NEWS
January 24, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Commonwealth Court judges ruled Thursday that the School Reform Commission does not have the power to cancel union contracts, restoring health-care cuts that were to save the Philadelphia schools $54 million annually. The unanimous ruling appeared to strike down a core operating belief of the SRC. PFT president Jerry Jordan called the decision "a very big victory" that affirmed the union's position that contracts must be negotiated, not imposed, and that the state law that created the SRC did not give it the power to wipe away collective bargaining.
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